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Debut Presentation of New Musical Comes to Sacred Heart Stage

‘The Bluff” was co-written by a seminarian from the Diocese of Gary.

by Karla Dorweiler

When Deacon Steven Caraher and his friends finished the final draft of a musical that had been in the works for years, they dreamed it would one day take the stage. On March 22 & 23, The Bluff, a murder mystery comedy, will come to life in Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s auditorium, thanks to a dedicated cast and crew of seminarians and friends of the seminary.

Deacon Caraher, a seminarian with the Diocese of Gary, co-wrote the show with three childhood friends from northwest Indiana: Matt Kresich, Scott Peters, and George Jurincie. Ten years ago, Kresich and Peters came up with the idea for a musical centered around a bumbling detective. Several years later, Deacon. Caraher and Jurincie joined the two in shaping the script and music. Deacon Caraher wrote songs with Peters, attended table reads to get feedback, and worked with his friends to tinker with the script.

“It’s followed me throughout my conversion experience in college and into seminary, and even now as I’m getting ready to be ordained a priest,” said Deacon Caraher. “I would come to the seminary for a semester, then go back home for a break and work on it with the guys. It’s been a part of my life for a while and it’s been a labor of love.”

Deacon Steven co-directed last year’s Sacred Heart presentation, A Man for All Seasons. When he was considering a script for 2024, he thought the timing was right to bring The Bluff to the stage. Several of his brother seminarians had been involved in theater before, and he found a willing and enthusiastic co-director, Logan Scott, who served as the assistant stage manager for last year’s production.

“If I see a need, I fill it,’” said Scott, a pre-theology II seminarian with the Diocese of Kalamazoo. “I thought it would be fun while at the same time serving my brothers here at the seminary. I was happy to help in whatever way I could to make Deacon Steven’s and his friends’ dream come true.”


Scott was involved in eight high school plays and musicals when he was in high school, both in the chorus and as a stagehand. Being in this role, however, gives him a whole new perspective.

“Being the co-director makes me appreciate my directors back in high school a million times more,” Scott said. “They were full-time teachers and parents, and ‘second parents’ to us for three months every semester. To realize now the amount of work and sacrifice they did for us makes me see them in a new light.”

After auditions last fall, twenty-one seminarians were offered roles in the cast and chorus of The Bluff, with sixteen serving behind the scenes on the crew. The cast and chorus alone represent the Dioceses of Lansing, Detroit, Marquette, Gary and Madison, Wisconsin, as well as the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit and the Chaldean Eparchy.

The show will be the first musical on stage at Sacred Heart since Seussical in 2016.

“We have six or seven men in the cast who’ve never done theater before, and having a chorus gives them a chance to be part of it without having to take center stage,” said Deacon Caraher. “I’ve been emboldened and encouraged by my brothers who are sacrificing their time, and a bit of themselves, for the greater good of the seminary and for a common project that we’re all working on together.”

The theater program at Sacred Heart is seminarian-led and overseen by faculty advisor Father Brian Meldrum, Assistant Professor of Theology & Director of Liturgy at Sacred Heart. Before coming to Sacred Heart as a seminarian in 2009, Father Meldrum directed high school and community theater productions.

“Theater used to be part of the regular liberal arts education that the men received,” said Father Meldrum. “It was a big part of the life of the house and the formation of the men because of all the positive ways it contributes to helping with ministry by being in front of people and showing joy and enthusiasm. That’s still true today.”


The Bluff tells the story of Dexter Dull Jr., a young man who wants to become a world-renowned detective like his father. As Dexter attempts to prove himself by solving a murder case in a single night without the help of his father, hilarity ensues along with twists, turns and memorable songs and characters.

“We wanted to give people something exciting and fun where their toes will be tapping and where they leave the theater having had an enjoyable evening,” Deacon Caraher said. “At the same time, I think one of the most important elements of the musical is that the whole thing is couched in a coming-of-age story about a young man who wants to make his dad proud.”

Both co-directors look forward to welcoming visitors to the seminary’s auditorium for the world premiere.

“Knowing the history of the theater program here, I’m proud to be part of this and help continue that legacy,” said Scott. “And I think it’s important for the community to see what the seminary is all about. While it’s true that we pray and study a lot, we like to laugh and sing and dance just like so many people do. Music can be an evangelization tool in unexpected ways.”

Reserve seats here. Attendees who wish to do so may make a free will offering at the show.

by Karla Dorweiler

Karla Dorweiler

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.